Established etiquette for political candidates is to give the loser a chance to concede before making your victory speech. Webb began his remarks with an acknowledgement of Allen and the democratic process, saying that "we all go out, we vote, we argue, we vote."
Then he said something unexpected that was met with the roaring approval of his supporters: "But also I'd like to say the votes are in, and we won." On MSNBC, which missed airing Webb's remarks live, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann reacted immediately with slack-jawed amazement.
This is how the game is played post Bush v. Gore, and if Democrats want the Senate they'll show they learned something in 2000.
Six years ago, George W. Bush emerged from election night with a 1,784-vote lead in Florida and was treated by the media as the winner of the presidential election. This was a dubious claim -- Florida's voting process was a mess and either candidate could have overcome that margin in a thorough accounting of votes cast. As days passed, Gore faced increasing pressure to quit pursuit of a recount, even from members of his own party.
This morning in Virginia, with 99.8 percent of the votes counted, here's the results:
Jim Webb (D): 1,171,813
George Allen (R-Incumbent): 1,164,767
In Montana, with more than 99 percent of the votes cast, here's the results:
Jon Tester (D): 194,194
Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Incumbent): 193,179
When you factor in their respective populations, a 1,015-vote lead in Montana is comparable to a 7,046-vote lead in Virginia. Both leads are significantly larger, by percentage of population, than Bush's original lead over Gore in Florida.
If the media treats this election the same way, the votes are in, and we won.
Webb and Tester should be considered the winners of their races, not the candidates who are leading pending a recount. The Democrats have retaken the Senate. With every day that passes -- a recount in Virginia will take at least a month -- Burns and Allen will fall further into the same trap as Al Gore. There's no patience for a drawn-out voting dispute in our short-attention-span media. By next week, if the two Republican incumbents are still chasing votes, they'll be derided as sore losermen.
Burns & Allen.... Say goodnight Gracie ;P
Damn, Visitor beat me to the punchline! :)
Haha, it is over. But geez, sour write-up?
You might note how there aren't whines about unfairness or how there was cheating from Republicans. The party lost, and is accepting that loss.
Based on pre-election talk, had the senate gone 1 or 2 seats the other way, the wailing and gnashing of teeth would have been amazing to watch.
The left could learn a lot by watching that now.
I think you underestimate the impact of losing a presidential election by virtue of a Supreme Court decision that stopped a recount.
I'm not a flamethrowing Democrat, but I'm still so angry about Bush v. Gore that I celebrated the loss last night of Rep. John Sweeney, a New York Republican who stormed the Miami-Dade election commission offices to halt a recount.
The left has a much stronger reason to believe in election skullduggery than the right. The move to electronic voting machines developed by companies that support the GOP doesn't provide much confidence that things are better.
Considering how long some right-wingers have carried on their venomous hatred of all things Clinton, I think they'd be just as touchy as I am if Gore had been selected president in 2000.
But I do hope you're right. If Allen and Burns concede graciously, I hope it burns off some of the left-wing anger about 2000.
It will be fun complaining about how the democrats do everything wrong for the next few years like they did for 10. harhar
Thanks for giving the numbers in Virginia, hadn't seen those yet. Apparently there's some cause for ambiguity in other media. Though it is a great observation of the comparisons of the margins to Montana and the 2000 presidential race. While protracted recount fiascos may fan the flames of partisan rancor, perhaps the lessons of 2000 might advise the masses. So basically, I heard it first here, democratic bicameral majority. But certainly, the out-of-touch Whitehouse got the message - apparently they're learning to listen to the polls.
The Democrats deserved to win. I am a Republican and the Republicans failed us the last 6 years...
What happens is wonderful. It is good for our Democracy. It is healthy. People should be happy our Democracy works so well. When people fail they get axed. This is how it is suppposed to work..
Mr. Cadenhead, I think your workbench has gathered so much Bush-hating rhetoric that you are(once again,)confused. Although the count in Florida was close and there were recounts, Bush won the damn election. Even an independent tally by the liberal media confirmed that, so get off your sad old mantra about Bush cheating Gore out of the Presidency. The only thing that would have pleased you and your ilk, would have been to keep recounting in Florida, until your 'team' came up with a way to infuse enough fradulent ballots into the mix, to steal the election as has been done before. (Check out the 2004 Governor election in Washington State.)
I recall that Pelosi, based on polls she wanted to believe, declared victory 5 days before the election and vowed to demand recounts in every battle, if she didn't get to be Speaker of the House. Well, she won...and the Republicans didn't demand a single recount, although some of the results were close enough to warrant it.
The bottom line is that too many of the Republicans forgot why they won in 94. Like most (if not all,) politicians, they got greedy. They didn't listen to the people about immigration and spending...so they lost and rightfully so. Still, they would have retained the House and the Senate, had not the Democrats recruited candidates who were able to talk the conservative talk. We will now see whether they walk the conservative walk. I will be pleased if they do, but if not, they shouldn't get too comfortable in their new digs.
In the meantime, it will be amusing, to watch Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid, as they try to convert their circus of clowns into a body that can do more than beat around the Bush.
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